The "Concept" album - what a concept!

Posted On: Saturday - September 9th 2017 7:34PM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  Movies

In answer to a question by a commenter, I brought up the old idea of the concept album from back in the heyday of good rock and pop music. Both words of this term are kind of ancient, as not so much music nowadays is bought in the form of albums, or bought PERIOD, if my habits are not uncommon. The first word, "concept" applied to albums in which all or most of the songs together told a story, or at least fit together well (in terms of lyrics).

Hey, this post is going to sound like some parts in the John Cussack movie "High Fidelity", I guess. If you've seen it, you know what I mean, and if not, go download it now or take it out from the library. Now, you can finish reading this at your leisure, as "High Fidelity" is a cool movie. I forgot to mention that Jack Black is in it, and that alone makes it good.

Yeah, so top 3 best Concept Albums of all time:

(Only one of the 3 is embedded for reasons explained.)

# 1) Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) – Time: It’s about a man who (possibly in just a dream) gets transported into the future.

The funny thing is, the only hit song on the album is one that is not part of the theme (“Hold on Tight (to your Dreams)“). I’d like to read otherwise, but right now, this is the best concept album of ALL TIME. Jeff Lynne was like some kind of musical genius.

I don't want to repeat music here, so, as TIME was featured here on Peak Stupidity before, I'll also just give the youtube link.

#2) The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed: It is about the different stages of life. The hit song on it was “Tuesday Afternoon“.

These guys made rock in combination with classical orchestras. Nobody I’ve heard of today has 1/4 of this much creativity.

youtube had to screw up the concept of a full concept album together that I could embed.

(That youtube clip was ripped from a cassette tape, haha, but it sounded OK at a first listen, and that’s better than damn commercials BETWEEN songs - more on this for #3)

#3) Eagles – Desperado: This one has a theme about outlaws and the West.

Most people know the title song and “Tequila Sunrise“, but the whole thing is great – Bernie Leadon has a short banjo instrumental, and all but Bernie (I think) sing lead vocals on various tracks. It was the best album by The Eagles, period.

Here is a link to a series of youtube videos that make this whole album, but with this WARNING that because this one is separate clips in a compilation, even though the songs will play in sequence, you will usually hear commercials at some point between songs, which pretty much RUINS your listening with a concept album. The Eagles have some kind of problem with some of their stuff being up there – I tried to find ANY version of the song “On the Border” for this post from that album with no luck.

Oh, right, usually one does these kind of top-x lists in reverse order, for suspense, just like John Cussack in the movie, Kasey Kasem of "America's Top 40" (if you know who he is, you shouldn't need this post to educate you.), and about every other person. Please remember though, that we are near Peak Stupidity. Good night readers.

[UPDATED 12/05/20:]
The video is gone, and I had to put a link to the Moody Blues full album Days of Future Passed instead of an embedded video.

[UPDATED 08/28/21:]
Thanks to commenter Adam Smith for the link to the whole album Days of Future Passed.

Adam Smith
Saturday - August 28th 2021 8:45AM MST
PS: Good morning Mr. Moderator,

I'm unfamiliar with Time and Days of Future Passed, but they seem like interesting choices. I look forward to listening to them. I would probably have picked The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, The Wall, Pet Sounds and 2112.(In no particular order.) Maybe even Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, though I'm not sure if that qualifies as a concept album.

Moody Blues Days of Future Passed:

Eagles On The Border (Remastered):

WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)